So, yeah, my life may have come to a screaming halt, but I’m slowly getting to grips with this teaching gig, and no matter how hard a day gets, it still doesn’t chew on my soul the way The Job That Soured ended up doing. Plus, of course, my style of teaching English doooooeeeessss tend to involve a whole lot of sneaking in other lessons around the side……
Some days, of course, just like writing, you do something so beautiful that you wish you could bottle it. Yesterday was one of those days.
I have a class of Year Sevens, and they’re brilliant, brilliant kids. Each week we have a ‘Hero of the Week’. Our lessons for that week are filtered through that hero. This week it has been Emmeline Pankhurst, so there’s been a lot of talk about the democratic process, amongst other things.
We have a film study coming up, and the kids couldn’t decide which of 2 movies they wanted to view. So, in the spirit of our current Hero, I announced that we would vote on it. There’d been some interest in the dawn of democracy, so I said we would decide the matter in the ancient Athenian way.
Yesterday, I brought in 2 jars, each containing a set of coloured marbles, and set them down next to a lidded box with a slot cut in the top. I explained the system: each individual would select a marble from the jar denoting the movie of their choice, and drop it in the box. At lunch, I would count the marbles, and the movie with the most marbles would be the choice of the people. Demokratis in action.
There was much pleasurable agreement.
ME: Ah. But. What have we learned from Emmeline Pankhurst? 1893? 1928?
CLASS: ….. The girls can’t vote!
ME: That’s right. We know that women didn’t get the vote until at least 1893. Sorry, women of the class. We are Athenian. You can’t vote.
There is much hilarity amongst the boys, and much ballyhoo amongst the girls.
ME: That means, fellow Athenians, that the only people who can vote in this matter are MEN!
All the boys cheer and holler.
ME: ….over the age of 30, who have trained for the military.
BOYS: Many variations of “wait, what, huh?”….
ME: Which means (Fake gasp of shock) I’m the only person in this whole class who is eligible to vote. Welllllllllll…….
There is much hilarity amongst the girls, and much ballyhoo amongst the boys.
Turns out, the boys were in favour of the girls voting alllllllll alooooooong……
Honestly, some days, the lessons have nothing to do with the subject at hand 😉